Guide to Investment and Doing Business

Myanmar represents excellent potential for business investment.

  • The Government implemented market-oriented economic policy in 1988 in order to attract foreign investment and to increase local private sectors participation in the economy.
  • Investment prospects was boosted after the promulgation of the Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Law (FIL) in November 1988.
  • Legislative provisions under the Foreign Investment Law are very simple and represent one of the most progressive and favorable Investment Law
  • Foreign and Myanmar Companies can be format in the Union of Myanmar under the Myanmar Companies Act, which has legal and common language known to all under entrepreneurs in the competitive commercial world.


Myanmar welcomes foreign investments in all forms. The Government is intent in maintaining good economic relationship with all foreign organizations and individuals, regardless of their political or social systems and its attempting to build stronger economic relations with all countries.

Foreign Investment Environment

Foreign Direct Investment Policy

Myanmar’s Foreign Direct Investment policy is a component of the overall restructuring and development policy of the Government. The main components of the policy are:

  • Adoption of market oriented system for the allocation of resources.
  • Encouragement of private investment and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Opening of the economy for foreign trade and investment.


The objectives of the Republic of Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Law

  • Promotion and expansion of exports
  • Exploitation of natural resources which require heavy investment
  • Acquisition of high technology
  • Supporting and assisting production and services involving large capital
  • Opening up of more employment opportunities
  • Development of works which would save energy consumption
  • Regional Development


In order to oversee and administer the FIL, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) was formed and it acts as initial approving authority for investment proposals.

Forms of Investment


Foreign investors can set up their business either in the form of a wholly foreign-owned or a joint venture with any partner (an individual, a private company, a cooperative society or a state- owned enterprise). In all joint ventures, the minimum share of the foreign party is 35 percent of the total equity capital.

Minimum Capital Requirement


The minimum amount of foreign capital required to be eligible under the Foreign Investment law is:

For an industry US $ 500,000
 For a service organization US $ 300,000

Eligible Economic Activities


Economic activities allowed under the foreign Investment law cover almost all sectors of the economy. It has been notified by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). Any economic activity not include in the notification can be considered individually.


Liberal Investment Incentives


Tax Incentives under the Foreign Investment Law

  • A flat tax rate of 30 percent is applicable to an enterprise operating under the law. Exemption from income tax for 3 consecutive years beginning with the year in which the operation commences and further tax exemption or relief for an appropriate period in case if its considered beneficial for the State.
  • The Commission may also grant:

        • Exemption or relief from income tax on profit which is reinvested within one year.

        • Relief from income tax up to 50 percent on the profit from exports.

        • Right to pay income tax of the foreign employees and to deduct the same from the assessable income of the enterprise.

        • Right to pay income tax of the foreign employees at the rate applicable to the citizens of Myanmar.

        • Right to deduct the research and development expenditure.

        • Right to accelerate depreciation

        • Right to carry forward and set off losses up to 3 consecutive years, from the year the loss is sustained.

        • exemption or relief from customs duty and other taxes on:-

        (a) Imported machinery and equipment for use during the construction period.
        (b) Imported raw materials for the first 3 years commercial production following the completion of construction.


Right to Transfer Foreign Currency

A person who has brought in foreign capital can transfer the following:-

  • Foreign currency entitlement of him.
  • Net profit after deducting all taxes and provisions.
  • Foreign currency permitted for withdrawal by the Commission which may include the value of assets on the winding up of business.
  • A foreign employee can transfer his salary and lawful income after deducting taxes and other living expenses incurred domestically.



Enterprises operating under the Foreign Investment Law shall have the State guarantee against nationalization and expropriation.


Application Procedures for Foreign Investment

A promoter for foreign investment must submit a proposal in prescribed form to the Myanmar Investment Commission. With the proposal the following must be attached.

(1) Documents supporting financial credibility. ( audited final accounts of most recent year of the person or the firm that intends to make investment).

(2) Bank recommendation regarding the business standing.

(3) Detailed calculation relating to the economic justification of the proposed project indicating inter alia:-

  • Estimated annual net profit.
  • Estimated annual foreign exchange earnings or savings and foreign
  • Recoupment period
  • Prospects of creating employment.
  • Prospects of increase in national income.
  • Local and foreign market conditions and the requirement, if any, for local consumption.


(4) If it is a hundred percent foreign investment, a draft contract to be executed with an organization determined by the Ministry concerned.

(5) If it is a joint venture, a draft contract to be entered into between the foreign investor and local counterpart.

(6) If it is a joint venture in the form of a limited company, draft Memorandum and Articles of Association and also a draft contract between the foreign and local investors.

(7) The promoter may apply for the exemptions and reliefs from taxes stated in Chapter 10 Article 21 of the Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Law.


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Useful Myanmar Phrases

Auspicious to you all
Mingalar Bad

How are you?
nei kaun: ye. la:

Good morning
mingala nan ne khin: ba

Good evening
kaun: tho: nya. nei khin: ba

Good night/Good Bye
thwa: bi

Thank you
kyei: zu: tin ba de

Thank you very much
kyei: zu: amya: gyi: tin ba de

I cannot speak Myanmar
Myanmar lo matat' bu:

Do you understand?
khamya: na: le tha la:

May I take a photograph?
da' poun yai' lo. ya. mala:

May I use the telephone?
te li hpon: thoun: lo. ya. ma. la:

Where is the restroom?
ein tha be ma shi. tha le:

How much?
be lau' le:

What's that?
e: da ba le:

Very expensive
zei: mya: de

See you again
noun gya. thei: da paw.

Please to meet you.
twei. ya. da wan: tha ba de

Good luck
kan kaun: ba zei

sel' mashi ba ne.

Excuse me
thi: khan ba

It's all right.
ya ba de

Yes (Male)
hou' ke khin bya.

Yes (Female)
hou' ke shin.

hin. in:

da ge la:

It's impossible.
ma hpyi' nain bu:

hpyi' nain ba de

I beg your pardon (Male)
khin mya (?)

I beg your pardon (Male)
Shin (?)

Can I help you?
ku nyi ba ya. zei

kegya. ba oun:

hla. lai' ta

I want...
...gyin de


I want to go...
... go thwa: gyin ba de

Where is...? na: ma le:

Turn left
be be cho:

Turn right
nya be cho:

Straight ahead
te, de. thwa: ba

Stop here
dima ya' ba

Slow down
hpyei: byei:

Be careful
tha di: hta: ba

Be careful, don't drive too fast
tha di: hta: ba: phyie: byei: maun:

Turn back
pyan hie:

Turn back
pyan hie:

How much do I owe you?
be lau' kya. tha le:

Keep the change
maan: ne. daw


lei zei

Bus Station
ba saka: hma' tain

Railway Station
buda youn

hou te

than youn:

hsei: youn

hsei: gan:

Police Station
ye: sa khan:

Post Office
sa dai


River Boat jetty
thin: baw: zei'

Guest house
e. yei' tha

sa: thau' hsain

Travel Related Links

Association of Southeast Asia NationsASEAN
Association of Southeast Asia Nations

Association of Southeast Asia NationsASEAN
Association of Sou<<4R543W90-=98theast Asia Nations

Pacific Asia Travel AssociationPacific Asia Travel Association

Myanmar Hotelier Association
Myanmar Hotelier Association

  MTFMyanmar Tourism Federation

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Union of Myanmar.


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